Last week, Giggles and I watched Wo Ai Ni Mommy. It was the story of an 8-year-old girl from China adopted into a white Jewish family in Long Island. Her name changed to Faith when she arrived in the U.S., along with losing her name she lost her language and everything else familiar to her. The movie can be found online and was the first of three documentaries PBS is airing with a focus on adoption. It was relevant for Giggles because she came here at age 8 and the girls shared a lot of the same emotions. At one point, Faith is rocking in her mother’s arms shrieking about how she wants to go back to China. I asked Giggles if she ever wanted to go back to Ghana. She insists she only wants to go back when she’s hungry. Apparently, she still has some food issues here in America.
This morning, by myself, I watched Off and Running. It’s the second movie in the series. It is about a black teenager named Avery. She was adopted at birth by a white Jewish lesbian couple living in Brooklyn. This film is touted as a coming of age story. After you watch it, you’ll see why I hope it isn’t a coming of age story for any of the children in my home. It broke my heart to watch it. Supposedly, according to the live chat that I participated in today with the film director and Avery, it ends happily. I didn’t think so at all. I think Avery, now age 20, is still struggling with her lack of identity. If anything, as an adoptive parent, the film gave me no direction on how to help my children. It merely scared me witless. So, because I always parent my children with my eyes wide open when it comes to both the subject of being adopted and being black, I recommend you watch it. But, I’m going to be honest, I pray that it isn’t representative of the “coming of age” of any of my children. I’ll provide a link for you too. It’s worth a watch for every transracial adoptive family, especially those of us parenting black children.